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President’s Message
by Larry Junck, MD
Promote Public Health. Advocate. Educate.
Isee these as the main roles of our fine society.
Many of our activities straddle more than one of these realms. We may have other roles – an example is assisting and promoting medical practices, but this is more the province of MSMS.
Reviewing some of our recent, ongoing, and future activities:
Promote public health:
productivity, rising oceans, and severe weather events. Of note to physicians, mitigation of climate change can also provide direct and indirect health benefits, especially reductions in chronic lung disease. I will
be interested in comments whether WCMS should become more involved in advocating action on climate change.
 Four resolutions from Washtenaw County were passed by MSMS House of Delegates, May 2-3, 2015:
● Support of Suicide Prevention Awareness and
Education, by Dr. Neil Elkin
● Improving Transparency for Medical Legislation,
by Dr. James Szocik
● Broadened Conflict of Interest, by Dr. James Szocik ● Maintenance of Certification Conflict of Interest,
by Dr. James Szocik
 On September 15, our General Session will be on Prevention of Gun Violence, with presentations by Jim Peggs, MD, Ken Silk, MD, Jerry Walden, MD, and Andrew Zweifler, MD. What an impressive lineup!
 For November, we are planning a General Session on health care of our aging population. Stay tuned.
 For our General Sessions, please remember our “bring a friend” policy. A guest who is eligible for WCMS membership (a physician who lives or works in Washtenaw County) may come to their first meeting free of charge.
 WCMS members Evangeline Spindler, MD, and Alvin Curtis Spindler, MD, are two of the three co-directors of a course at the MSMS Annual Scientific Meeting, October 22, 2015. The course is titled, “The Dying Patient: New Perspectives and Interactive Case Studies.” WCMS is co-sponsoring this course.
 Though the annual Bioethics Conference is sponsored by MSMS and not WCMS, it is right here on our home turf on November 13-14, and our own Lauren Smith, MD, is the organizer.
Please bring us your ideas on activities where WCMS involvement might make a difference. We have the potential to amplify your voice on such matters, providing benefit to physicians and to our community.

WCMS is sponsoring a meeting with the Corner Health Center of Ypsilanti to discuss challenges facing youth and young adults. These challenges include increasing substance abuse and concerns about sexual identity. Participants will include stakeholders from UM, SJMH, school systems, and other community institutions.
Neal Elkin, MD, has organized a committee to work with community resources on “harm reduction,” specifically needle exchange programs for IV drug users and safe sex education for high risk groups. The main goal is to reduce risk of an outbreak of HIV, such as that occurring recently in Indiana.
Dr. Elkin, MD, Alice Penrose, MD, and Robert Sain, MD, are working on suicide prevention with Washtenaw Alive, a coalition of various groups coordinated by Washtenaw County Public Health.
Charlie Koopman, MD, is working with MSMS to explore advocacy of universal immunization of public school children.

Brad Uren, MD, President-Elect, organized support for Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law, which assures that accident victims have coverage for health care.
Dr. Uren has also written op ed pieces opposing legalization of powdered alcohol, one published in the Detroit News on July 9 ( stor y/opinion/2015/07/09/michigan-ban-powdered- alcohol/29881171/), and a shorter, but similar piece,
in the Detroit Free Press.
In the present issue of the Bulletin, I open the topic of advocacy by physicians for action on climate change. I feel a moral imperative to mitigate climate change obviously to reduce consequences to our earth and its inhabitants such as loss of species, loss of agricultural
Volume 67 • Number 3 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 5

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